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Thread: Sporterized Arisaka

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Sporterized Arisaka

    A local gun shop has a sporterized 7.7 on consignment for $150. I'm in the mood to play with something new and have fancied sporterized military surplus since I watched my dad cut down a SMLE in the 1960's. Over the years I have done a few such projects myself.

    I have never messed with an Arisaka. This one looks to have been done many moons ago. It has what appears to be an old Bishop stock or something close. It is drilled and tapped. The barrel has been shortened and has what looks like a decent crown. It needs a little TLC as it has some light surface rust, is very dirty and the stock needs a good cleaning or maybe a refinish.

    Given its condition I'm thinking this was a project that someone did when sporterizing was popular and cost effective. It does appear to have been in storage during recent years.

    In the end what I'm looking for is to resurrect a older sporter job to use for the occasional trip to the range or perhaps to use for a whitetail hunt or two.

    Any views and thoughts from those who have experience with the Arisaka would be much appreciated?

    Isaac

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    curator's Avatar
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    Arisakas can be rugged and reliable hunting rifles. I own two that "Bubba" sporterized in the 50s. While not "match grade" they are fairly accurate with both cast boolits and store-bought jacketed ones. Their safeties take some getting used to but function well as long as you aren't wearing mittens. Ammo is available commercially from a couple of sources or you can easily make your own from cut-down and resized .30-06 brass.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Timney makes a safety w/trigger for these rifles. It eliminates the need for the factory one.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I actually prefer the Arisaka action to the mauser in some ways. Much simpler takedown and is a little stronger also. The safety is also good to go with a scope without alteration. They can be made into very nice looking sporter. The 7.7mm is a very good hunting cartridge. The Japanese made excellent rifle until the supplies of iron, steel and other raw materials were taken away by the U.S. Navy. I would just as soon as have Japanese 6.5 or 7.7 as the 8mm mauser. my experience anyway, james

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I would do it for $150. I bought an ugly duckling 6.5 Jap sporter for $65, but no sights since they were cut off. Spent $80 for sights put on and it shoots great. It stays in the truck...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Eons ago I had a 6.5 action rebarreld to 22-250. Put a Herter's "second" stock on it, Timney trigger and a K-10. Was a Chuck killing machine.

    Just be sure it's not a cast receiver drill rifle.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    My cousin-in-law hunted with a sporterized 7.7 Arisaka for over 40 years, and for all essential purposes the rifle was a .30-06 - one of the strongest actions ever made, accurate & reliable (what's not to like ? ).


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I had one of those with Bishop stock, Lyman receiver sight, and had been cut back/rechambered to .308. (You might want to check for this as the .308 rechamber was extremely popular "back then" and they seldom marked anything on the barrel). This was my primary hunting rifle for about 10 years until I thought I had to have an '06 to hurl 200 grain Speers at elk. The barrel slugged about .314 and I didn't do real well with cast I had available. But it shot a regular .308 jacketed just fine so long as you turpentined her up to get enough pressure to seal the bore well. I believe I used the "book" load for IMR 4895, but substituted 3031 for the 4895.

    Nowdays we have wonderful mould makers who would build something to cast about .316 and Lathesmith would build me a .315 size die and I could shoot that old babe forever. But what did I know 40 years ago?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Sounds like a good buy and one that will be fun to work with. And you'll have a clear conscience, since someone else cut it down and you didn't destroy its collectability. It will still be fun to determine where and when it was made, and while sitting in the woods waiting for Bambi to wander by to speculate on its history. I second everything already said about their strength, accuracy, and reliability. Think of the fun you'll have cleaning it up, refinishing the stock, developing loads, sighting it in, etc. Go for it! Have one myself, and two "as-issued" in my accumulation.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    If you get it do a chamber cast. A lot of those had a 30-06 reamer run into them, 7.7 Jap brass has only become available in the last ten or so years. Long after that one was done, by your statements. Back then it was a relatively standard practice. If the guy knew what he was doing he set the barrel back a thread or two to clean up the 7.7 chamber - slightly larger than the -06.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    If you get it do a chamber cast. A lot of those had a 30-06 reamer run into them, 7.7 Jap brass has only become available in the last ten or so years. Long after that one was done, by your statements. Back then it was a relatively standard practice. If the guy knew what he was doing he set the barrel back a thread or two to clean up the 7.7 chamber - slightly larger than the -06.
    Wayne is spot on about checking the chamber specs. i picked up an Arisaka back in the mid '60s on the word of a buddy that it was rechambered to 30-06. it was and the brass bulged slightly after firing, plus it was not real accurate with a larger bore than the '06 required. i did kill a few deers with it.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
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    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    The Arisaka action is one of the strongest that there is. You can pretty much rebarrel and chamber it for most anything that will fit in the magazine. I had a Type 99 rebarreled to be a .22-250 Ackely Improved. I also put on a nice Walnut stock on it too. It was drilled and tapped for a scope so I could mount a scope on it as well. It is a great shooter and capable of making one small ragged hole with ten shots at 100 yards. I was going to go with a .220 Swift rebarreling, but the gunsmith had a high end barrel that he cut a bit too much off of on his lathe and had to get another barrel for a customer. He made me a great deal at the time. He already had a chamber reamer for the .22-250 Ackley Improved cartridge. At the time the Ackley Improved version was all the rage for the varminters too. So I wound up going that route as the Ackley Improved cartridge case has the same capacity as the .220 Swift anyway. You use loading data for the .220 Swift with it.

    I actually have some other Japanese rifles I got cheap with a eye on converting them over to other calibers too. I just never got around to doing it yet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Earlwb; 12-24-2017 at 05:46 PM. Reason: add more information

  13. #13
    Boolit Master map55b's Avatar
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    I'd get it. I haven't played much with the 99, but the 38 cleans up nice. Here is one I did in 308 Win for a friend. I did another in 38-55.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    If I remember correctly, P.O. Ackley did some “blue pill” test of various military rifles and the Arisaka was the strongest, according to his book.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
    NRA Endowment Member
    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks everyone for the comments. Lots of good information. I was hoping for some encouragement to pick it up. I'll probably re-visit the shop on Tuesday.

    Thanks to those who recommended a chamber cast. That is a very sound idea.

    Many thanks again. I'll let everyone know what happens and try to post some photos if all works out.

    Isaac

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    vzerone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAC14 View Post
    Eons ago I had a 6.5 action rebarreld to 22-250. Put a Herter's "second" stock on it, Timney trigger and a K-10. Was a Chuck killing machine.

    Just be sure it's not a cast receiver drill rifle.
    TAC cast receiver we're necessarily drill rifles. The Japanese made cast receiver for the Type 99 for the Navy. The bolt on these locked into a barrel tang, not the receiver as that would be disasterous.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Add me to the Arisaka fan list. In sporter form. Old medium action Sako stocks and Reminton 600 bases can be made to work on a 38.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Add me to the Arisaka fan list. In sporter form. Old medium action Sako stocks and Reminton 600 bases can be made to work on a 38.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Good to know. Many thanks.

    Isaac

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Add me to the Arisaka fan list. In sporter form. Old medium action Sako stocks and Reminton 600 bases can be made to work on a 38.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    When I last looked, several of the gunstock makers still show Arisaka stocks for sale too.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    I passed on a Jap sporter rifle. It was in nice shape. Light too.
    Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

    Yeah, I love cast iron cookware.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check